Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Discover new agility and build your competitive advantage

As customer expectations grow, many financial services organizations are struggling to keep up. Customers want a faster, more efficient service across all channels, and won’t hesitate to look elsewhere to find it. But how can you accelerate service, stay on top of ever–evolving regulations, and stay ahead of the competition?

It’s important to:

  • Develop new agility to stay ahead of the competition
  • Simplify compliance to protect and enhance your reputation
  • Increase customer satisfaction in a highly competitive market
  • Take full control with enterprise project portfolio management

Learn how you can improve operational efficiency, quickly respond to changing customer demand and build competitive advantage.

Monday Mar 03, 2014

Keeping the Lights On: Transform your business today to meet the challenges of tomorrow

Written by: Iain Graham, Director, Process Manufacturing Strategy, Oracle Primavera

In all the years I’ve worked with the energy and utilities sector, it seems that two things remain constant: the need to replace or repair ageing infrastructure and the apparent low level of funds available to many organizations to do so. In many instances, the infrastructure that these organizations rely on is ageing faster than it is being replaced. I suspect those tasked with keeping these assets up and running might recognize the phrases “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and “out of sight, out of mind” when seeking more investment for preventative work. Yet failure to adequately address ageing infrastructure can cause a big headache for many companies, diverting resources and funds to remedial action and possibly impeding growth.

Customers don’t always fully understand the issues energy and utility companies face and expect a reliable yet lowest-cost service. The result is that, pushed to keep costs down, companies continue to sweat their infrastructure assets beyond their original intended life so as to maximize operational value, while even further demands are placed on those assets through growth. This approach brings increased risk of an infrastructure failure and no one wants to be to blame when the lights go out.

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based on a global survey of executives in the oil & gas, utility, chemical and natural resource industries, examines the impact of ageing infrastructure. A key finding in the report is that one of the biggest perceived obstacles for organizations is meeting infrastructure maintenance schedule and budget goals, resulting in poor project planning, regulatory interference and a lack of resources. In addressing those obstacles, there are things some companies may do to ease the problem of aging infrastructure, without necessarily requiring large-scale additional funding. The report found that many organizations believed they could overcome obstacles, meet budget and expansion goals through better planning processes. Deploying enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) could help to optimize use of key resources, improve planning and project execution, and prioritize the right projects, amongst other benefits.

You can read the full report here.

Tuesday Feb 11, 2014

Manufacturing Today—Innovation and Operational Excellence how to Compete in a Global Marketplace

By: John Reichard, Oracle Primavera Discrete Industry Strategy Director

Manufacturing is critical to the global economy. It is driven by innovation and operational excellence, which impacts the economy and international trade—all in a volatile and demanding marketplace; A global marketplace which over the last few years has been strained by economic, political and environmental stress. Economists describe the business climate as gradually improving but still very sensitive to market conditions and customer demands. Or is this really the new normal environment for businesses?

Manufacturers that survived the difficult economy over the last few years, now face a more competitive environment where they must do more with less to win. They will have to optimize dwindling experienced resources, choose projects wisely for improved financial results, and better manage risk to deliver on time in order to thrive. How will you innovate, evolve and compete to win in this new normal global marketplace?

One way for industries to compete is to strike a balance between innovation and process improvement to better align new product development to corporate strategy. This Innovation brings in new streams of value while process improvement provides the back-end insurance that the innovations achieved will continuously deliver competitive value. New innovation will help increase revenue, market share while building customer value. These are very important drivers to the discrete industries. We find that new product introductions contribute significantly to business growth. Companies that invest in development find it is not an optional extra but rather crucial to business growth and profitability. Is innovation a high priority for your company?

To stay competitive, many industrial manufacturing companies are focusing on global efficiency through greater collaboration, and visibility across program and projects worldwide. This transparency helps, in today’s complex product design and manufacturing initiatives resulting in higher customer satisfaction and profit margins. These metrics are vital to measuring a company’s success in bringing the right products to market on time. Cost overruns or late product launches result in the loss of credibility and financially impact to the bottom-line. How does your company ensure that you are designing, building and delivering products as promised and avoiding costly delays when different functional teams aren’t always in sync?

How do you:

  • Drive Innovation–Innovation is considered one of the most critical drivers to a company’s competitiveness. How do you choose which programs or projects satisfy customer demand, and improve market share with the required return on investment?
  • Manage Risk - Risk requires identification and management to mitigate potential quality, warranty, legal and environmental issues. Are you managing change successfully and mitigating its effects?
  • Understand Capacity–Do you have the right resources to match the demand in the markets you plan to grow in?

Each of these questions can be answered and objectives accomplished with the help of an enterprise project portfolio management solution that can streamline operations, improve time to market, increase agility, and provide visibility and transparency with all stakeholders.

If you would like to know more about how to: compete and win in the global marketplace, then I invite you to visit Oracle’s Primavera industrial manufacturing industry page for more information.

Monday Jan 06, 2014

University of Minnesota Saves Millions with Fewer Construction Change Orders and Claims, Improves Collaboration with Project Management Solution

The University of Minnesota is one of the most comprehensive public universities in the United States, offering more than 370 fields of study at campuses in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, Crookston, and Rochester. It also has six agricultural experiment stations, two biological stations, one forestry station, and regional extension services throughout the state. Project Management Solution for university of Minnesota

The university’s capital planning and project management department oversees approximately 300 capital projects annually, valued at US$250 million. Typically, 10 to 15 of those projects have budgets exceeding US$2 million.

Challenges:

  • Deploy a robust project management solution to support the university’s new capital planning and project management group, which oversees more than US$250 million in projects annually across multiple campuses and school facilities.
  • Standardize and automate processes and closely track the cost of capital projects, which range from classroom building construction to campus infrastructure initiatives, to ensure on-time, on-budget completion.

Read complete list of challenges here.

Solutions:

  • Gained a consistent project management methodology and process for the university’s construction projects with Oracle’s Primavera Unifier, improving the team’s ability to complete projects on time and within budget and achieving return on investment in three years.
  • Integrated contract and financial management and enabled the capital projects group to track and benchmark costs to gain a more accurate picture of expenditures associated with building certain types of campus structures, whether instructional buildings or infrastructure projects.
  • Reduced the number of change orders by 15%―saving US$3.7 million in 2009 alone―thanks to more detailed cost and scope information, audit trails, and transparency.

Read complete list of solutions here.

"With Oracle’s Primavera Unifier, we have introduced standardized project management methodologies, resulting in significant savings and enabling us to be better stewards of the projects entrusted to our group.” – Kevin McCourt, Business Manager, Capital Planning and Project Management Department, University of Minnesota

Read complete customer snapshot here.

Monday Oct 21, 2013

In the Firing Line: The impact of project and portfolio performance on the CEO

What are the primary measurements for rating CEO performance?

For corporate boards, business analysts, investors, and the trade press the metrics they deploy are relatively binary in nature; what is being done to generate earnings, and what is being done to build and sustain high performance?

As for the market, interest is primarily aroused when operational and financial performance falls outside planned commitments for the year. When organizations announce better than predicted results, they usually experience an immediate increase in share price. Likewise, poor results have an obviously negative impact on the share price and impact the role and tenure of the incumbent CEO.The impact of project and portfolio performance on the CEO

The danger for the CEO is that the risk of failure is ever present, ranging from manufacturing delays and supply chain issues to labor shortages and scope creep. This risk is enhanced by the involvement of secondary suppliers providing services critical to overall work schedules, and magnified further across a portfolio of programs and projects underway at any one time – and all set within a global context. All can impact planned return on investment and have an inevitable impact on the share price – the primary empirical measure of day-to-day performance.

Read this complete complementary report, In the Firing Line and explore what is the direct link between the health of the portfolio and CEO performance. This report will provide an overview of the responsibility the CEO has for implementing and maintaining a culture of accountability, offer examples of some of the higher profile project failings in recent years, and detail the capabilities available to the CEO to mitigate the risks residing in their own portfolios.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

RWE IT Updates Project Schedules with 10,000 Activities in Less Than One Minute

RWE IT GmbH is the internal IT service provider for the RWE Group, by revenue the second-largest German utility company, which supplies electricity to more than 20 million Project Portfolio Management software for Utilitiesconsumers and gas to more than 10 million consumers, mainly in Europe. Through technological expertise and extensive knowledge of business and processes, RWE IT helps RWE Group companies meet their challenges. The company’s competencies, aligned toward the processes of RWE Group’s value-creation chain, include the rollout of standardized systems for acquisitions, new business segments, and regions; flexible integration or expansion for acquisitions, new business segments, and regions; and optimized use and expansion of the group’s IT infrastructure.

 Challenges

  • Enable three group companies—RWE Technology, RWE Power, and RWE Innogy—to efficiently manage multiple power construction projects at the same time and optimize resource use across those projects.
  • Provide schedulers with the ability to effectively open and modify projects with thousands of activities—to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery of major capital projects

Read full list of challenges here

Solutions

  • Deployed Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management to optimize project scheduling for power station construction while reducing costs for project management and operations.
  • Enabled 80 internal and external schedulers to leverage information from a dozen databases, including country-specific and test databases, and perform multiproject management—including opening and comparing projects with thousands of activities—to drive more cost-effective and on-time projects
  • Enabled RWE Technology, RWE Power, and RWE Innogy to ensure construction quality and better meet project deadlines with optimized power station construction planning and monitoring.

Read full list of solutions here

Why Oracle

Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management is the only project management software capable of handling tens of thousands of simultaneous activities in multiple projects without using excessive computing time. It offers complete security and has the industry’s most advanced scheduling functionality. With the next Primavera release, we anticipate the introduction of advanced scheduling features, such as taking meteorological information into account when planning construction activities,” said Carsten Jung, applications corporate solutions, RWE IT GmbH.

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Wrap-Up: Construction and Engineering Summit @ Oracle OpenWorld 2013

By Garrett Harley, Director of Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera Best practices for global construction and engineering projects

It's hard to dispute that this year's Oracle OpenWorld was anything short of spectacular. Oracle Team USA staged an unprecedented comeback to defend the America's Cup, and the first Construction and Engineering Summit at Leaders Circle @ OpenWorld was attended by more than 80 C-level attendees from many of the industry's leading global owners, contractors, and engineering, procurement, and construction firms.

Mike Sicilia, Oracle Primavera's GM and SVP, kicked things off with a compelling review of how Oracle technologies continue to strengthen and service engineering and construction (E&C) work across the globe. Mike was followed by Graham Robinson from Global Construction Perspectives, who shared his findings from their recently released Global Construction Perspectives Forecast through 2025.

Leaders Circle sponsor Wipro discussed a well-received E&C integrated solution platform built with Oracle technology that helps companies continue to transform their operations and streamline execution. Oracle customers Chiyoda, COSEA/VINCI, Lend Lease, and the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water then shared their stories of how they've leveraged Oracle technology, the challenges they faced, the solutions they implemented, and the benefits they've received from their partnership with Oracle. 

What struck me about this year's event can be summarized in one word: specialization. Atul Gawande (a general surgeon and author of numerous magazine articles and several books, including The CheckList Manifesto) positions the following hypothesis: As information increases, the need to specialize is required.

What does this have to do with E&C? Think of it this way. The age of the Master Builder is no more. There is simply too much information for any one individual to intimately know. Projects, like today's aircraft, are too much plane for one person to fly.

As customers shared their stories of how they approached resolving their business issues, it was their focus on integration of these specialties and how Oracle has continued to invest in supporting these areas that made me realize not only how far technology in our industry has come, but how much more we still have left to do. And how critical adjustments can lead to extreme performance.

That's something Oracle Team USA did in the face of what appeared to be insurmountable odds. And given the forecast for E&C work through 2025, a focus on extreme performance will be required for the monuments to come. 

Monday Sep 09, 2013

Why Government Agencies Need to Prove Value by Producing Incremental Value

For years, government agencies have undertaken ambitious, multi-year projects often without a step-by-step project plan or documented ROI. This inevitably led to waste, a frustrated Congress, and a confused public. Now, government agencies must show their programs will achieve value from the very first stage of development.

By shelving expensive, multi-year IT programs for smaller projects that can show incremental value, agencies can prove to Congress real ROI. This makes it more likely that the agencies will receive continued funding and the projects can continue. Another benefit is that by breaking large projects into smaller ones, agencies can ensure that each phase works properly and will deliver the expected ROI before advancing to the next phase. If progress is not delivered, that project can be canceled or put on hold, without much lost. As Tom Davis, Director of Federal Government Affairs for Deloitte & Touche LLP notes, "significant amounts of government funding have gone to waste due to agencies trying to tackle too much at once." While this thinking is not necessarily new, the current fiscal environment has convinced many that "agile" is the right approach to successful programs. 

"Flat is the new up" may not be an ideal situation, but it is the one government agencies have come to know. To adjust, they will need to become more innovative in the way they extract efficiencies and cost savings out of their operations. Moreover, they will need to prove, every step of the way, that their programs are valuable. In a time of constrained budgets, failing to do so may result in reduced funding.    

Oracle's Primavera provides enterprise investment management technology that allows government agencies to propose, plan, and control investments that present the greatest value to both the agencies and the public they serve. With Primavera enterprise project portfolio management solutions, national and local governments can effectively manage time, costs, resources, contracts, and changes to all types of projects or programs—including management of IT investments, grants, military systems, capital facility projects, maintenance and improvement programs, and more. Learn more here

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

Transform your business with Oracle Primavera

If you use Oracle’s Primavera solutions, and you're attending Oracle OpenWorld, then the Primavera sessions are for you. Featuring 18 sessions, hands-on labs, demos, meet the experts and exhibits. The sessions are designed for you to gain valuable information on how to drive innovation, enhance operations or manage finance & risk, and effectively use our solutions to support both short and long-term growth through better formulation, alignment and execution of corporate initiatives and projects.

Add these ten essential sessions to your schedule: